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Armbruster family presented 'Farmer Recocognition Award'

Family farms in Saltcoats area
Farmer recognition 72
From left Wade Berlinic with Hammond Realty, the Armbruster family; Joey Armbruster, Caroline, Scarlet, Jesse,, Rachel, Jorja, Alex and Joel.
YORKTON - The annual Farmer Recognition Award was presented at the Grain Millers Harvest Showdown by Hammond Realty to the family of Caroline and Joey Armbruster of Saltcoats. 

The family operates about 10,000 acres, including land originally farmed by his father Leonard covering the traditional range of crops from wheat to canola to flax while remaining “dedicated to the family farm,” detailed Brett Callin in the award introduction at the grain awards evening Thursday.  

The farm was started in 1963, with son Joey coming into the operation in 1976 and Joel in 2001. 

While responsible for a large number of acres the Armbrusters “are friendly and helpful neighbours,” continued Callin. 

As farmers “the Armbrusters are definitely great managers of the land,” and are always eager to try new things including often being involved in trying out prototype equipment, he said. 

The family has also been a regular supporter of the Harvest Showdown for 20-plus years. 

The award was certainly appreciated by the family, said Joel Armbruster. 

“It’s a big deal for us because we’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “Being recognized for what we do feels pretty special.” 

For Joel staying on the family farm was almost always his desired future. 

“I started driving a grain truck when I was about nine-years-old,” he said. 

When he graduated from Yorkton Regional High School he took heavy duty mechanic training in Saskatoon through Maple Farm Equipment, but after the course he headed back to the farm instead of taking a 9-to-5 job. 

So how has farming changed for Joel and his family? 

“Grain marketing is the biggest thing that’s changed,” he said, then added the scale of machinery has grown too. “. . . Everything has basically doubled in size.” 

As machinery has gotten larger the cost has climbed too. 

“The prices have gone completely crazy,” said Joel. 

And of course there are always bumps on the road when farming. 

“When COVID started it was tough. No one knew what to expect,” said Joel, adding the farm sector is still feeling the effect of the pandemic, in particular in accessing parts and new equipment. 

“Another big thing with COVID we’re starting to see it now, there’s such a delay in getting parts,” he told Yorkton This Week. 

And he noted they ordered a new grain truck in June and it will not arrive until next June. 

Then of course this year was unusually dry. 

“The drought hit us pretty bad,” said Joel, adding the yields on canola and flax were certainly lower.  

The good news is prices are as high as they have ever been. 

“Prices are up so that helps a little bit,” said Joel, adding 2022 is hopefully back on track. “We just hope everything gets back to normal
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